How Different Are We Really? - 2nd December 2019

“May you live in interesting times” is a phrase often quoted as a Chinese proverb though, apparently, there’s no trace of it in Chinese. Whatever its source, it’s a wish that’s certainly being fulfilled in our world right now.

At this time of big change, I’m reminded of a dinner conversation I regularly had at exhibition weekends across the world in my days in the international property market. “If you could go back to any time in history to see what life was like, which era would you choose and why?” I had a few different answers and could never quite settle on one but the most interesting comment from a colleague was about the days of cavemen and women (someone at the table elected that era).

“I think we’d be surprised how similar to ours the day-to-day life for the cavemen was.” Initially that appears a ridiculous assertion but, on reflection, I think not. Cave dwellers needed to eat and drink. They needed warmth. They needed rest. They needed to reproduce (and protect offspring to preserve their bloodline). And they would have sought relaxation / sport / leisure of some sort.

Our essential human needs and desires are no different – we just have easier means to access all those things though we are also helped considerably by not having to fight for life on a regular basis (none of you reading this anyway).

“So what?” I hear you say.

As we reflect on the changes we see in our society, we may neglect what hasn’t changed, such as the needs of our clients. As ever, clients want value. They want transparency. They want to trust the people with whom they do business. They’re happy to spend their money but they won’t spend it unless they see that value, that transparency, that belief that they can trust you. No matter that we all now find each other online, check each other out online, complain or praise each other online, we have the same needs. We just receive and send our thoughts in different formats.

Spend a little time this week making sure your old-fashioned message (which is also wonderfully up to date) of value, transparency and trust is communicated in every single interaction clients and potential clients have with your company. From your website home page to the recorded answer on your voicemail – online and offline – it’s all building or destroying the value your clients seek whether you’re consciously planning that or not.